Whether your home is bright and vibrant or clean and low key, vintage dinnerware helps set the tone for retro-friendly hospitality.


Vintage Fiesta teacup and saucer in turquoise
Vintage Fiesta teacup and saucer in turquoise (c. 1937-1959). Source.

1. You’ll want to have a party with a dish set that fits the theme. The Fiesta line includes many colors from rose to forest green to turquoise. Full vintage dinnerware sets can be expensive. However, if you’re not looking to splurge on the vintage items, Fiesta is still producing designs similar to the vintage ones.


Starburst Franciscan
Vintage Franciscan plates and cup in Starburst pattern (c. 1950s). Source.

2. Give your table a burst of color. One of the most popular modern dinnerware sets comes from Gladding, McBean & Co. in the Franciscan dinnerware set. The atomic patterns include Starburst and Contours. Starburst is probably the most well known for its unique pattern that has an obvious retro vibe. Contours is made up of interestingly shaped dishes with delicate artistic decals in the middle.


Russel Wright dish set
Vintage Russel Wright dish set (c. 1937). Source.

3. Mix and match with a Russel Wright dish set. Russel Wright produced a line of dinnerware that comes in several colors and is meant to be rearranged. One of the most famous pieces is the American Modern Tall Pitcher.


Vintage Syracuse China plates in the Jubilee Atomic Star pattern
Vintage Syracuse China plates in the Jubilee Atomic Star pattern (c. 1945). Source.

4. If you’re looking for something that can be used for any occasion, Syracuse China is the way to go. What makes this dinnerware so universal is that it creates a casual, yet elegant place setting by combining straight edges with round corners. The Midcentury Modern patterns include “Evening Star” and “Jubilee Atomic Star.”

Classic Century 20-Piece Set by Eva Zeisel
Classic Century 20-Piece Set by Eva Zeisel. Source.

5. Think outside the lines. Eva Zeisel produced a set of dinnerware that stands out from the rest. In response to the Midcentury Modern emphasis on linear shapes, Zeisel created round dishware sets that are reflective of organic shapes.



Ceramic Metlox "Zinnia" Dinnerware
1960s Ceramic Metlox “Zinnia” Dinnerware. Source.

6. Metlox has a set for every style. Metlox opened up in 1921 as “Proutyline Products,” selling architectural tiles. Poppytrail and Vernonware were divisions of Metlox, offering lots of midcentury dishware designs from roosters to the Sculptured Zinnia collection.


Salem North Star
Vintage plate set from Salem North Star collection (c. 1963). Source.

7. Follow the North Star to the dinner table. Salem North Star dinnerware has a very specific color pattern that can brighten up a whole room. Some pieces are sold in aqua, while others are sold in white with aqua accents. Some people split up their dish sets, but there are a lot of full sets of this pretty color pattern floating around.